US 7130403 B2
A telecommunications system includes a network (102) and a multimedia server (104) operably coupled to the network. The multimedia server (104) is adapted to manage a multimedia conference and includes a memory (103) for storing selectable portions of the multimedia conference, as well as action prompts. The system further includes one or more client devices (122) operably coupled to the network and adapted to set action cues for use during conferences. A voice recognition system may be used to detect instances of the action cues, which cause the launching of an associated action prompt.
1. A telecommunications method, comprising:
storing a plurality of user-configurable action cues, said action cues associated with one or more participants to a multimedia conference and adapted to cause an action prompt to be launched to one or more parties to the multimedia conference when an associated action cue is detected while the multimedia conference is ongoing; and
performing a function responsive to said action prompt while said multimedia conference is ongoing
wherein said function comprises prompting users for categorization information during said multimedia conference.
2. A telecommunications method in accordance with
3. A telecommunications method in accordance with
4. A telecommunications method in accordance with
5. A telecommunications method in accordance with
6. A telecommunications system, comprising;
a local area network (LAN);
a multimedia server operably coupled to said LAN, said multimedia server adapted to manage a multimedia conference and including a memory for action cues for use during said multimedia conference; and
one or more client devices operably coupled to said LAN and adapted to set said action cues for launching one or more action prompts to one more parties to the multimedia conference when an associated action cue is detected during said multimedia conference
wherein said action prompts prompt users for categorization information during said multimedia conference.
7. A telecommunications system in accordance with
8. A telecommunications system in accordance with
9. A telecommunications server, comprising:
a multimedia communication controller for interfacing multimedia conferences; and
a collaboration controller operably coupled to said multimedia communication controller, said collaboration controller adapted to store a plurality of user-configurable action cues, and recognize said action cues when used in a multimedia conference and generate an action prompt to one or more parties to the conference responsive thereto
wherein said action prompt comprising a window prompting a user for categorization information during said multimedia conference.
10. A telecommunications server in accordance with
11. A telecommunications server in accordance with
12. A telecommunications method, comprising:
generating an action prompt to one or more participants to a multimedia conference responsive to a user-settable action cue during said multimedia conference
wherein said action cue comprises a voice action cue;
wherein said action cue is associated with a single participant and the prompt is launched responsive to said participant invoking said action cue;
wherein invoking said action cue also causes a launch of a moderator window; and
wherein said moderator window allows said moderator to respond to the action prompt.
The present invention relates to telecommunications systems and, in particular, to an improved system and method for messaging collaboration.
The development of various voice over IP protocols such as the H.323 Recommendation and the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) has led to increased interest in multimedia conferencing. In such conferencing, typically, a more or less central server manages the conference and maintains the various communications paths. Parties to the conference are able to communicate via voice and/or video through the server.
Instant messaging can provide an added dimension to multimedia conferences. In addition to allowing text chatting, instant messaging systems such as Microsoft Windows Messenger can allow for transfer of files, document sharing and collaboration, collaborative whiteboarding, and even voice and video.
As can be appreciated, a complete multimedia conference can involve multiple voice and video streams, the transfer of many files, and much marking-up of documents and whiteboarding. On occasion, an individual who is not a party to all or part of the conference may nevertheless find it necessary to review what was said. While a messaging server or individual clients may be able to record or store an entirety of such a conference, the reviewing party may not wish to replay the entire meeting, including all the irrelevant comments and dead ends typical in any multiparty collaboration. Moreover, simply recording an entirety of a conference provides no indication of the relative importance of various portions of the conference.
As such, there is a need for a system and method for easily reviewing a multimedia conference. There is a further need for a system and method for accessing particular portions of a multimedia conference upon review. There is a further need for a system and method for determining the relative importance of portions of a conference.
These and other drawbacks in the prior art are overcome in large part by a system and method according to embodiments of the present invention.
A telecommunications system according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a network and a multimedia server operably coupled to the network. The multimedia server is adapted to manage a multimedia conference and includes a memory for storing selectable portions of the multimedia conference. The system further includes one or more client devices operably coupled to the network and adapted to set recording cues for choosing portions of said multimedia conference for playback. The multimedia server or clients may include a voice recognition system for transcribing audio portions of the conference. The voice recognition system may further be used to detect instances of the recording cues.
A method according to an embodiment of the present invention includes storing a plurality of recording cues adapted for marking a predetermined time period around which a portion of a multimedia conference is to be recorded; and capturing sequentially portions of the multimedia conference responsive to execution of the recording cues. The recording cues may be audio cues or may be whiteboard or document identifiers.
A telecommunications server according to an embodiment of the present invention is adapted to store or record a multimedia conference. In addition, the server may store a plurality of predetermined recording cues, settable by a user. The recording cues may include voice recording cues, recognizable by a voice recognition unit, or may include text or whiteboard identification recording cues. When the cues are identified, a predetermined amount of the conference is tagged or stored for summary play later. In addition, a percentage match or relevance probability when recording cues are identified may be assigned, such that the summary may be played back later based on relevance or the likelihood of a match.
In addition to recording cues, in certain embodiments of the present invention, action cues are provided. Detection of an action cue causes a launch of an action prompt. The action prompt gives the moderator or speaker the option of taking an action associated with the action prompt. Such actions can include, for example, forwarding a part of the conference to another party, or marking the summary with a flag indicating the importance of that portion of the conference. In association with the action prompt, the user can mark whether the system has generated a valid action prompt. The system can then learn whether to generate the prompt on future occasions.
A telecommunications system according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a network and a multimedia server operably coupled to the network. The multimedia server is adapted to manage a multimedia conference and includes a memory for storing selectable portions of the multimedia conference, as well as action prompts. The system further includes one or more client devices operably coupled to the network and adapted to set action cues for use during conferences. A voice recognition system may be used to detect instances of the action cues, which cause the launching of an associated action prompt.
A better understanding of these and other specific embodiments of the invention is obtained when the following detailed description is considered in conjunction with the following drawings.
Turning now to the drawings and, with particular attention to
In addition, according to embodiments of the present invention, a collaboration system 114 may be provided, which may be part of an interactive suite of applications 112, run by controller 101, as will be described in greater detail below. In addition, an action prompt module 115 may be provided, which detects occurrences of action cues and causes action prompt windows to be launched at the clients 122, as will be described in greater detail below.
Also coupled to the LAN 102 is a gateway 116 which may be implemented as a gateway to a private branch exchange (PBX), the public switched telephone network (PSTN) 118, or any of a variety of other networks, such as a wireless or cellular network. In addition, one or more LAN telephones 120 a–120 n and one or more computers 122 a–122 n may be operably coupled to the LAN 102.
The computers 122 a–122 n may be personal computers implementing the Windows XP operating system and thus, Windows Messenger. In addition, the computers 122 a–122 n may include telephony and other multimedia messaging capability using, for example, peripheral cameras, microphones and speakers (not shown) or peripheral telephony handsets 124, such as the Optipoint handset, available from Siemens Corporation. In other embodiments, one or more of the computers may be implemented as wireless telephones, digital telephones, or personal digital assistants (PDAs). Thus, the figures are exemplary only. As shown with reference to computer 122 a, the computers may include one or more controllers 129, such as Pentium-type microprocessors, and storage 131 for applications and other programs.
Finally, the computers 122 a–122 n may implement Interaction Services 128 a–128 n according to embodiments of the present invention. As will be described in greater detail below, the Interaction Services 128 a–128 n allow for interworking of phone, buddy list, instant messaging, presence, collaboration, calendar and other applications. In addition, according to embodiments of the present invention, the Interaction Services 128 allow access to the collaboration summarization module 114 and the action prompt module 115 of the server 104 and thus permit the user to access and manipulate conference summaries.
Turning now to
According to the embodiment illustrated, the broker module 201 includes a basic services module 214, an advanced services module 216, an automation module 212, and a toolkit module 218.
The basic services module 214 functions to implement, for example, phone support, PBX interfaces, call features and management, as well as Windows Messaging and RTC add-ins, when necessary. The phone support features allow maintenance of and access to buddy lists and provide presence status.
The advanced services module 216 implements function such as presence, multipoint control unit (MCU), recording, and the like. MCU functions are used for voice conferencing and support ad hoc and dynamic conference creation from a buddy list following the SIP conferencing model for ad hoc conferences. In certain embodiments, support for G.711 and G.723.1 codecs is provided. Further, in certain embodiments, the MCU can distribute media processing over multiple servers using the MEGACO protocol.
Presence features provide device context for both SIP registered devices and user-defined non-SIP devices. Various user contexts, such as In Meeting, On Vacation, In the Office, etc., can be provided for. In addition, voice, e-mail and instant messaging availability may be provided across the user's devices. The presence feature enables real time call control using presence information, e.g., to choose a destination based on the presence of a user's devices. In addition, various components have a central repository for presence information and for changing and querying presence information. In addition, the presence module provides a user interface for presenting the user with presence information.
In addition, the broker module 201 may include the ComResponse platform, available from Siemens Information and Communication Networks, Inc. ComResponse features include speech recognition, speech-to-text, and text-to-speech, and allow for creation of scripts for applications. The speech recognition and speech-to-text features may be used by the collaboration summarization unit 114 and the action prompt module 115, as will be discussed in greater detail below.
In addition, real time call control is provided by a SIP API 220 associated with the basic services module 214. That is, calls can be intercepted in progress and real time actions performed on them, including directing those calls to alternate destinations based on rules and or other stimuli. The SIP API 220 also provides call progress monitoring capabilities and for reporting status of such calls to interested applications. The SIP API 220 also provides for call control from the user interface.
According to the embodiment illustrated, the application modules include a collaboration module 202, an interaction center module 204, a mobility module 206, an interworking services module 208, a collaboration summarization module 114, and an action prompt module 115.
The collaboration module 202 allows for creation, modification or deletion of a collaboration session for a group of users. The collaboration module 202 may further allow for invoking a voice conference from any client. In addition, the collaboration module 202 can launch a multi-media conferencing package, such as the WebEx package. It is noted that the multi-media conferencing can be handled by other products.
The interaction center 204 provides a telephony interface for both subscribers and guests. Subscriber access functions include calendar access and voicemail and e-mail access. The calendar access allows the subscriber to accept, decline, or modify appointments, as well as block out particular times. The voicemail and e-mail access allows the subscriber to access and sort messages.
Similarly, the guest access feature allows the guest access to voicemail for leaving messages and calendar functions for scheduling, canceling, and modifying appointments with subscribers. Further, the guest access feature allows a guest user to access specific data meant for them, e.g., receiving e-mail and fax back, etc.
The mobility module 206 provides for message forwarding and “one number” access across media, and message “morphing” across media for the subscriber. Further, various applications can send notification messages to a variety of destinations, such as e-mails, instant messages, pagers, and the like. In addition, the subscriber can set rules that the mobility module 206 uses to define media handling, such as e-mail, voice and instant messaging handling. Such rules specify data and associated actions. For example, a rule could be defined to say “If I'm traveling, and I get a voicemail or e-mail marked Urgent, then page me.”
Further, as will be explained in greater detail below, the collaboration summarization module 114 is used to identify or highlight portions of a multimedia conference and configure the portions sequentially for later playback. The portions may be stored or identified based on recording cues either preset or settable by one or more of the participants in the conference, such as a moderator. As will be explained in greater detail below, the recording cues may be based on vocalized keywords identified by the voice recognition unit of the ComResponse module, or may be invoked by special controls or video or whiteboarding or other identifiers.
The action prompt module 115 similarly allows a user to set action cues, which cause the launch of an action prompt window at the client. In response, the clients 122 can then perform various functions, as will be discussed in greater detail below.
Turning now to
Shown are a collaboration interface 302, a phone interface 304, and a buddy list 306. It is noted that other functional interfaces may be provided. According to particular embodiments, certain of the interfaces may be based on, be similar to, or interwork with, those provided by Microsoft Windows Messenger or Outlook.
The buddy list 306 is used to set up instant messaging calls and/or multimedia conferences. The phone interface 304 is used to make calls, e.g., by typing in a phone number, and also allows invocation of supplementary service functions such as transfer, forward, etc. The collaboration interface 302 allows for viewing the parties to a collaboration 302 a and the type of media involved. It is noted that, while illustrated in the context of personal computers 122, similar interfaces may be provided the telephones or cellular telephones or PDAs.
As noted above, an aspect of the present invention allows selective summarization based on recognition of recording cues.
Also shown in
As shown in
In addition to, or instead of, the moderator setting the recording cues, in certain embodiments, the recording cues may be set by the individual users prior to beginning the conference. This may be particularly useful if, for example, a voice response system needs to learn the voices of various participants. As shown in
Signaling for exemplary system recording cue training is shown in
Turning now to
In response, at 608 (
As shown in
Turning now to
As noted above, the system can be trained to recognize cues prior to the start of a conference.
Operation of this training method is illustrated more particularly with reference to
As noted above, the summarization can be stored by the system either as a completely separate file or as indices marking “points” on the complete conference recording. This is illustrated more particularly with reference to
According to an embodiment of the invention, action cues, in addition to recording cues, may be set, invoked, and detected to launch an action prompt. Once the action prompt is launched, the user can decide whether to take action upon it. The action prompts can be used to prompt for categorization information, generating suggestions on storing or forwarding messages and the like, or calling for votes among participants. In a particular embodiment, an inference engine associated with the action prompt module 115 may implement this functionality.
In operation, the user can participate in the conference using window 1001 and other media windows (not shown). When an action cue is detected (in a manner similar to the detection of a recording cue, as described above), the action prompt module 115 of the server 104 causes the interaction services module 128 of the client 122 to launch an action cue window 1002. In the embodiment illustrated, the action prompt window 1002 displays the action cue 1006 that prompted launched of the window, an action prompt 1008, and allows an evaluation of the prompt 1010. It is noted that other or alternate text, features, menus, etc., may be displayed in the action prompt window. Launching the action cue window 1006 allows the user to select an associated action, as will be discussed in greater detail below.
Depending on the embodiment, the action cue window 1002 may be provided either to one or more selectable parties to the conference, or only the moderator. In cases in which more parties than the moderator can receive prompts, it may be desirable to still provide the moderator with the ability to train the system. Thus, in such embodiments, a moderator window 1004 is launched when an action prompt window is launched. The moderator window 1004 allows the moderator to provide an indication of whether the action prompt 1002 was appropriately generated.
As noted above, in certain embodiments, the parties to the conference can set individual action cues and associated actions. This is illustrated more particularly with reference to
Turning now to
As discussed above, the moderator may receive a special prompt 1004 (
In certain embodiments, detection of a cue can allow, for example, for a vote or other global action among all participants to the conference. That is, a global prompt window can be opened to allow users to, for example, send a vote on a particular subject. An exemplary global prompt window is shown in
This is shown in
This is illustrated more particularly with reference to
The invention described in the above detailed description is not intended to be limited to the specific form set forth herein, but is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications and equivalents as can reasonably be included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.